MANILA — Mindanao Development Authority chairman Emmanuel Piñol said on Monday he has resigned from the Cabinet and would leave President Rodrigo Duterte’s political party PDP-Laban to run for a Senate seat.
Piñol, who also served as agriculture secretary from June 2016 to August 2019, said he tendered his resignation last week, effective at the end of office hours on Tuesday.
“Does my resignation and decision to run for a Senate seat outside of the party of President Duterte mean that I am parting ways with him or I am turning my back on him? No, never,” Piñol said on Facebook.
He said he had a “deep” personal relationship with Duterte, who is godfather to his 2 children. He said he has known the President since he was mayor of Davao City.
“Sa mga nagtatatanong kung bakit hindi daw po ako kasama sa ticket ng administrasyon, yan ay dapat sagutin ng grupo ni [Energy] Sec. Alfonso Cusi na siyang nagpalabas ng mga pangalan ng kanilang mga kandidato sa pagka-Senador,” he said.
(To those asking why I was not included in the administration’s ticket, that should be answered by the group of Sec. Alfonso Cusi, which released names of their candidates for President.)
He said Cusi’s group did not include him in its initial Senate slate, despite social media clamor for his candidacy.
Piñol said he has decided to return to the Nationalist People's Coalition led by Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, who are running for president and vice president.
“Ngayon at nagdesisyon na ang Pangulo na hindi na tatakbo sa politika, mas lalong lumuwag ang dibdib ko sapagkat sa tingin ko malaya na akong ipagpatuloy ang mga adbokasiya ko sa Agriculture,” he added.
(Now that the President has decided he’s no longer running, I feel more relieved because I think I will be free to continue my advocacy with Agriculture.)
Piñol said he assured Duterte in his resignation letter “our friendship will remain steadfast and will never be affected by politics.”
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